Broadly speaking, the mankind can be divided on the basis of religious beliefs into two categories i.e. believers and non-believers. Believers are those who believe in Allah, the God of universe, and in His messengers and revelations; while non-believers are those who either disbelieve in God and reject His messengers and revelations or who believe in many gods or who say they do not know whether God exists or not. In the category of believers, the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims are generally included; whereas in the category of non-believers, one can include the disbelievers (pagans or Kafir), polytheists (idolaters or mushrik), hypocrites (who believe only in protecting their interest), apostates (who are turncoats), atheists, agnostics, sabaeans, etc.

In this Chapter, we will not discuss the beliefs, characteristics, history or way of living of the believers and non-believers. Rather we will discuss only what the Qur’an says about some of these communities in connection with their actions and reactions with regard to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), his preaching of Islam and his followers (the Muslims). It is also appropriate to point out at the very outset that the Qur’an strictly uses the word believers for the Muslims only. It does not include the Jews and the Christians among the believers as they do not believe in all the messengers of Allah. The Jews reject Jesus Christ and Muhammad while the Christians reject Muhammad.

Now let us discuss what the Qur’an says about some of the communities classified by us among the categories of believers and non-believers.

The Muslims

Muslims (often called “believers” or “those who believe” by the Qur’an) are an Ummah or a religious community which adheres to Islam and follows Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) of Arabia, the last messenger of God. Islam, as we know, means submission or surrender to God and His will and the followers of this great religion are called Muslims as they submit or surrender themselves before God. God Himself has given them the name Muslims (al-Qur’an 22:78) and He Himself has chosen religion of Islam for them (5:3). About the Muslims, please also see Chapter 4, subhead “Who are the Muslims?” What the Qur’an says about them is as follows:

1.      The Muslims believe in Allah, in Allah’s messengers, in Allah’s angels, in the books revealed by Allah for the guidance of mankind, and in the Hereafter (Akhirah). They believe in and honour all the Prophets of God from Adam to Muhammad (PBUH) who include Noah, Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and Jesus Christ. They make no difference between the Prophets by accepting some of them and by rejecting others. They also believe in all the books given by Allah to His messengers such as Torah given to Moses, the Psalms given to David, the Gospel given to Jesus, and the Qur’an given to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) (Refer to Al-Qur’an 2:2-5, 2:136, 2:177, 2:285, 3:84, 4:136). Holy Qur’an is their religious Book.

2.      The God of the Muslims is Allah, the One and the only Lord of the whole of universe; the Prophet of the Muslims whom they follow is Muhammad (PBUH) the last Prophet of Allah; and the book they hold as guide for them in all fields of life is the Qur’an; and the religion they practice is the religion of Islam. The God of the Muslims is God of all the humanity and all the creatures and cosmos and not of any particular locality, tribe or nation as the religious communities of old viewed their gods. The Prophet of the Muslims is the last messenger of God who was sent to all mankind unlike previous Prophets like Moses and Jesus who were sent to tribe of Israel. The Qur’an, the book of the Muslims, is word of God which is in its hundred percent original form, unaltered and uncorrupted, as God Himself is its guardian. The religion of the Muslims (al-Islam) is the religion of peace and security for the humanity and it has been the religion of all the Prophets and is the only religion acceptable to God. Allah Himself has perfected their religion al-Islam for them.   (5:3).

3.      The Muslims believe in and practice all the fundamental articles of Islam. They offer prayer for the worship of God, they pay Zakat (a fixed portion of their wealth) for the cause of the poor and helpless, they keep fast and perform Hajj. They also fight in the way of Allah when they are invaded or subjected to oppression and persecution.

4.      The Muslims are a middle nation and moderate people and are not extremists (al-Qur’an 2:143). They will be witnesses against mankind on the Day of Judgement. Kaabah (the House of God) which was built by Prophet Abraham at Makkah is the direction to which they turn their faces in Prayer.

5.      Allah is the Protecting friend of the Muslims. He brings them out of darkness into light (2:257). They are advised not to take disbelievers for their friends (3:28, 5:57) nor to take the Jews and the Christians for their friends (5:51). However this injunction is not applicable if these people live peacefully with the Muslims. They are also advised not to follow the footsteps of Satan as it is open enemy of man. They are also advised not to take even their fathers and their brothers for friends if their fathers and their brothers take pleasure in disbelief (9:23).

6.      Followers of all the three revealed religions-Judaism, Christianity and Islam-hold Prophet Abraham in the highest esteem and claim to be his heirs. However, according to the Qur’an, Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian but was an upright man and a Muslim. So those of mankind who have best claim to Abraham are Muhammad (PBUH) and his followers   (al-Qur’an 3:65-68).

7.      The Muslims are the best community which has been raised up by Allah for the guidance (and leadership) of the mankind and they enjoin good and forbid wrong (3:110). They have been advised to hold fast to the cable of Allah and not to separate and divide themselves into sects (3:102-105). They are brothers of each other.   (49:10)

8.      The good qualities of the Muslims (believers) which have been described by the Qur’an in its verses (8:2-4, 9:111-112, 13:19-22, 22:41, 23:1-11, 25:63-68, 47:2-3, 70:22-35) are: (1) that they fear Allah (2) they trust in Allah (3) they fight in the way of Allah (4) they turn repentant to Allah (5) they worship Allah, (6) they praise Allah, (7) they keep fast, (8) they bow down and prostrate in worship (9) they enjoin right and forbid wrong (10) they keep the limits ordained by Allah (11) they keep the pact of Allah and break not the covenant (12) they unite that which Allah has commanded should be joined (13) they spend out of that which Allah has bestowed on them (14) they overcome evil with good (15) they establish prayer (16) they pay Zakat, (17) they are humble in their prayers and they pay heed to their prayers, (18) they shun vain conversation, (19) they guard their modesty, (20) they keep their promises and their pledges, (21) they walk upon the earth modestly, (22) they say ‘peace’ when the foolish ones address them, (23) they spend the night prostrating and standing before their Lord, (24) they pray to their Lord to save them from Hell, (25) when they spend, they are neither extravagant nor miserly, (26) they do not invoke or call any other god with Allah, (27) they do not take life which Allah has forbidden except in course of Justice, (28) they do not commit adultery, (29) they are hard against disbelievers and merciful among themselves, (30) in their wealth they recognize right of the poor and the destitute, (31) they fear the doom of their Lord, (32) they preserve their chastity, (33) they stand by their testimony, (34) they do righteous deeds, (35) they are patient and truthful and exhort each other to truth and endurance, (36) they are better in speech than others.

            For the above mentioned good qualities, the believers are promised immense reward in the Hereafter: safety from Hellfire and admission into Paradise full of blessings.

The Christians

Christianity is the religion which was founded in the first century A.D. in the name and person of Jesus Christ by his disciples and followers. Subsequently this faith was adopted in many nations. The Christians claim to follow Jesus Christ, son of Mary, and they recognize the Holy Bible as their scripture which contains Gospel which was revealed to Jesus and many other books of Old Testament. Today followers of Christianity are almost two billions i.e. about thirty percent of total world population and thus they form the largest religious community in the world. While the Christians live in almost every country, there are more than 100 countries wherein they are in majority and which can conveniently be called Christian countries. Present day Christianity exhibits three main divisions: Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox Church.

Is Christianity really founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ? This is the question which is often asked not only by non-Christian students of this religion but also by Christians themselves when they study and find wide gap between the life and message of Jesus and the teachings and practices of Christianity. In answer to this question, a Christian writer has aptly remarked: “Christianity is not the religion of Jesus. It is the religion about Jesus.”

Jesus was sent as Prophet and reformer to the Israelites (the Jews) in Palestine. He himself is stated to have said: “I have come to reclaim the last sheep of House of Israel.” During his short ministry he performed many miracles such as healing the lepers and the blind and reviving the dead. His birth from a virgin mother, without intervention of a biological human father, was itself a great miracle. On the basis of these miracles, the Christians believe that Jesus is son of God and he himself is God despite the fact that Jesus never put up these claims. So they worship Jesus as God. They also believe in the doctrine of original sin and atonement. According to their belief, mankind laboured under the burden of original sin which they inherited from their parents Adam and Eve who earned it by disobeying God’s commandment regarding the forbidden tree in Paradise. In order to redeem mankind from this sin, God took pity and sent his only begotten son Jesus Christ who paid the ransom by embracing death on the cross. Thus these are some of the Christian beliefs. Briefly speaking, the Christianity is founded on three main beliefs: That Jesus is only begotten son of God; that Jesus is second in the Trinity of Gods-God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Ghost or Spirit; and that Jesus was crucified to redeem mankind from original sin. These beliefs are summed up in two doctrines: Doctrine of Trinity and Doctrine of Atonement. Although these Christian beliefs do not find a clear support even in the Gospel (the book revealed to Jesus by God), but the Qur’an strongly and vehementally rejects these beliefs.

Now let us see what the Qur’an says about the Christians and their beliefs.

1.      The Qur’an addresses the Christians either by the name of Ahle-Kitab (People of the Scripture) or by the name of Nisara (generally translated as Christians).

2.      Unlike Gospel which laments the attitude of the disciples of Jesus who deserted him in his bad times, the Qur’an appreciates the conduct of the disciples. According to the Qur’an, the disciples stood with Jesus when he noticed the conspiracies of the Jews against him and when he asked for their help in the cause of Allah (3:52). Therefore Allah promised with Jesus that He would set up his followers above those who disbelieve him (the Jews) until the Day of Resurrection (3:55).

3.      The Qur’an rejects the Christian doctrine of original sin and tells us that Adam and Eve asked for forgiveness of Allah after committing the blunder of eating from the forbidden tree and Allah forgave them (7:23-24). Moreover, the Quran has also laid down a general principle of justice that everyone is responsible for his own actions and no one bears the burden of another’s sin (2:134, 2:286, 4:11, 6:164, 53:38). Then why Jesus should be held responsible for the sin of Adam and be crucified?

4.      The Christian Doctrine of Divine Trinity and their claim that Jesus in son of God and he is one of the three have been strongly turned down by the Qur’an in its following verses:

  • O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not “Three –Cease”! (it is) better for you! –Allah is only One God. Far is it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is Sufficient as Defender.   –4:171
  • They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah (himself) said: O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Lo! whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden Paradise. His abode is the Fire. For evil-doers there will be no helpers. They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the third of three; when there is no God save the One God. If they desist not from so saying, a painful doom will fall on those of them who disbelieve. Will they not rather turn unto Allah and seek forgiveness of Him? For Allah is Forgiving Merciful. The Messiah, son of Mary, was no other than messenger, messenger (the like of whom) had passed away before him. And his mother was a saintly woman. And they both used to eat (earthly) food. See how We make the revelations clear for them, and see how they are turned away! Say: Serve ye in place of Allah that which possesseth for you neither hurt nor use? Allah it is Who is the Hearer, the Knower.   –5:72-76. Please also refer to Verse 30 of Surah 9.

5.      In verses 157 and 158 of its Chapter 4, the Holy Qur’an rejects the claim of the Jews that they crucified and killed Jesus. According to the Qur’an, the Jews did neither crucify nor kill Jesus (although they ploted to do so), it only appeared so to them. In fact Allah took Jesus up to Himself. Thus the Christian Doctrine of Atonement stands rejected.

6.      However, the Qur’an appreciates those (Christians) who follow Jesus (in his original teachings) and admires the compassion and mercy which Allah has placed in their hearts. They invented monasticism in order to seek Allah’s pleasure but could not observe it with right observance (57:27).

7.      In verse 14 of its chapter 5, the Qur’an tells that Allah made covenant with the Christians but they forgot a part of that whereof they were admonished. Therefore, Allah stirred up enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection.

8.      According to the Qur’an (verses 82 to 84 of its Chapter 5), the most vehement of mankind in hostility to Muslims are the Jews and the polytheists while the nearest of mankind in affection to the Muslims are the Christians. This statement of the Qur’an may not apparently appeal to the independent students of history who find that the Christians have killed millions of Muslims in their crusades of middle ages, in their wars against Turkey, in their occupation of India and Indonesia and other Muslim countries, and in the latest American led wars against Iraq and Afghanistan. But if we carefully and deeply study verses 83 and 84 we find that the Qur’an has not included in its above statement all the Christians. It has included in its statement only those Christians who are not proud, who listen to the Qur’an with their eyes overflowing with tears, and who recognize the Truth and who believe.

The Jews

Judaism is the religion of ancient Hebrews and their descendants, the Jews, and is the oldest among the three great monotheistic religions, the other two being Christianity and Islam. It is closely related to the Christianity and Islam as the source of all the three religions is the revelations of God through the Prophets – Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (May Allah’s peace be upon them) – all descendants of Prophet Abraham. According to the Old Testament, Judaism is based on a covenant between God and Prophet Abraham about 1800 B.C. and the renewal of covenant with Prophet Moses about 1250 B.C. The religion rests on the concept of one transcendent, omnipotent, eternal and invisible true God.

The followers of Judaism are called the Jews. The term ‘Judaism’ and the ‘Jews’ may be traced ultimately to the name of Jacob’s fourth son, Judah (Yehuda), whose descendants, together with the offspring of Benjamin, formed the southern kingdom of Judah, the capital of which was at Jerusalem. The Jews also called themselves the children of Israel or Israelites from the name that Jacob, son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham, was given after his encounter with the angel (Genesis 32:29). The Jews finally lost their kingdom few years after Jesus in 70 A.D. when Roman Emperor Titus defeated them and drove them out of Jerusalem. Since then they spread in the world having no homeland or country of their own till they forcibly carved out a country for them in Palestine under the name of Israel with the help of European and American Christian countries in 1948. And since then they are constantly at war with the Arab Muslims particularly the Palestinians whom they have deprived of their herth and home.

Since the Jews are widely spread in the world, exact statistics are not available about them. Their total population in the world is not more than 18 million, 5 million of whom live in Israel, the only Jewish country, and around 6 million live in United States. Though the eighteen million Jews form a very small portion of over six billion population of the world, the mark the Jews have made in the world is large and significant. Their name is synonymous with wealth and learning. In America and Europe their control in industry, trade, banking, press and in electronic media is much more than due on the basis of population.

The Jews recognize Moses as the founder of their religion, the greatest Prophet and central figure in their national history. The Jewish religious Scripture is called Old Testament of the Bible which comprises 39 books, of which Torah comprises 5. God’s personal name in the Bible is JEHOVAH. The Jews are instructed to recite the Shema which is : “Hear, O Israel, the Lord is God, the Lord is One.”

Now let us see what the Qur’an says about the Jews:

1.      The Qur’an addresses the Jews by various names such as ‘Bani Israel’ (Children of Israel), Ahle-Kitab (People of the Book or Scripture) and ‘Yahud’ (the Jews). After the Muslims, the Jews are the most mentioned religious community in the Qur’an. The seventeenth Surah of the Qur’an has been named as ‘Bani Israel’.

2.      The Qur’an has counted many favours of Allah on the Jews, some of which are as under;

a)     Allah chose them and preferred them over all nations (see verses 2:47, 3:33, 5:20, 44:32).

b)     Allah promised and gave to them the land of Palestine which has been declared as blessed land (see 5:21). But they refused to conquer it (verses 5:21-26)

c)     Allah raised many Prophets among them and blessed them with revelations like Torah, Psalms and Gospel (2:87). Famous prophets raised among them are: Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Jonah, Zackariah, John and Jesus.

d)     Allah made covenants with them (2:63, 2:83, 2:84, 5:12)

e)     Allah blessed them with wealth and children and made them a strong host.

f)      Allah liberated them from Egypt “the House of Bondage” and delivered them from Pharaoh and his people who afflicted them with dreadful torment, slaying their sons and sparing their women (2:49).

g)     Allah brought them through the sea and rescued them and drowned their enemies, the Pharaoh and his hosts, before their eyes (2:50).

h)     During their journey through Sinai desert under Moses, Allah caused the white cloud to overshadow them (in order to protect them from heat of the sun) and sent down on them the manna and salva (the quails) for food (2:57).

i)       When Moses asked for water for them during his desert journey, Allah asked him to smite the rock with his staff and thus gushed out therefrom twelve springs, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel (2:60).

j)      Allah placed among them Prophets and made them kings and gave them what he had not given to any of His creatures (5:20).

3.      The Qur’an has also described many sins of the Jews, some of which are:

a)     They broke each and every covenant of Allah and violated Allah’s laws and revelations (2:63-64, 2:83-85, 2:93, 2:101)

b)     Allah sent them many Prophets, some of which they disobeyed and some of which they murdered (2:87, 4:155)

c)     They took the calf for god and chose it for worship during Moses’ visit to Sinai for his tryst with God (2:51)

d)     They constantly misbehaved with Moses and disobeyed his orders.

e)     They frankly told Moses that they will not believe unless he shows them God plainly (verses 2:55-56). 

f)      They violated the law of Sabbath (2:65-66, 4:154)

g)     They hesitated to slaughter a cow when Moses told them that it was Allah’s command (2:67-71).

h)     They tempered with the books and revelations of Allah (2:75, 2:79)

i)       They disobeyed Saul when he asked them not to drink water of a river and hesitated to fight against Goliath and his hosts (2:249).

j)      Moses asked them to enter the holy land which Allah had ordained for them and to conquer and occupy it. But they refused saying that a giant people lived there. They even dared to tell Moses that he and his God should go and fight against those people. So Allah forbade that land to them for forty years and made them to wander in the desert (5:21-26).

k)     The Jews leveled false and slanderous allegations about chastity of Mary, mother of Jesus, accusing her of immoral conduct (4:156, 19:27-28)

l)       They not only disbelieved Jesus and rejected his message, but also made conspiracies against him to crucify and kill him although their conspiracies failed and Allah took him up to himself (4:157-158).

m)   They do evil deeds and hinder the people from Allah’s way (4:160).

n)     They devour usury, take bribe and gain wealth by illicit means (4:161).

o)     They rejected Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his message although they recognized him in their hearts to be a true Prophet of God. They strongly opposed him supported his enemies and even made plots to kill him.

4.      Ignominy and disgrace is pitched over the Jews wherever they are found except when they grasp a rope of Allah or a rope (of protection) from men. They incurred the wrath of Allah and misery is laid upon them (3:112). Allah has also cast among them enmity and hatred till the Day of Resurrection (5:64). For their wrongdoing Allah proclaimed that He would raise against them till the Day of Resurrection those who would severely torture and chastise them (7:167). Allah punished them twice for their rebellion and corruption – once through Nebuchadnezzar of Iraq in 587 B.C. and once through Roman Emperor Titus in 70 A.D. (17:4-8). Allah dispersed them in the earth as separate nations (7:168).

5.      The Jews and the Christians say: We are sons of Allah and his loved ones. Say: Why then does Allah punish you for your sins? (5:18). And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah (9:30).

6.      Prayer and Zakah (Obligatory Charity) is compulsory for them (2:43, 5:12). In the Islamic state they are allowed to apply the laws of Torah in their personal and mutual matters (5:42-43).

7.      Their food is lawful for Muslims and food of the Muslims is lawful for them. Their righteous women are also lawful for the Muslims (5:5)

A few verses of the Qur’an which highlight some of the above mentioned information about the Jews are given below as all the relevant verses cannot be reproduced for constraints of space: 

·        O Children of Israel! Remember My favour wherewith I favoured you and how I preferred you to (all) creatures. And guard yourselves against a day when no soul will in aught avail another, nor will intercession be accepted from it, nor will compensation be received from it, nor will they be helped. And (remember) when We did deliver you from Pharaoh’s fold, who were afflicting you with dreadful torment, slaying your sons and sparing your women: That was tremendous trial from your Lord. And when We brought you through the sea and rescued you, and drowned the folk of Pharaoh in your sight. And when We did appoint for Moses forty nights (of solitude), and then ye chose the calf, when he had gone from you, and ye were wrongdoers. Then, even after that, We pardoned you in order that ye might give thanks.   (2:47-52)

·        And (remember) when We made a covenant with the Children of Israel, (saying): Worship none save Allah (only) and be good to parents and to kindred and to orphans and the needy, and speak kindly to mankind; and establish worship and pay the poor-due. Then, after that, ye slid back, save a few of you, being averse. And when We made with you a covenant (saying): Shed not the blood of your people nor turn (a party of) your people out of your dwellings. Then ye ratified, (Our covenant) and ye were witnesses (there-to). Yet ye it is who slay each other and drive out a party of your people from their homes, supporting one another against them by sin and transgression-and if they came to you as captives ye would ransom them, whereas their expulsion was itself unlawful for you. Believe ye in part of the Scripture and disbelieve ye in part thereof? And what is the reward of those who do so save ignominy in the life of the world, and on the Day of Resurrection they will be consigned to the most grievous doom. For Allah is not unaware of what ye do.   (2:83-85)

·        The People of the Scripture ask of thee that thou shouldst cause an (actual) Book to descend upon them from heaven. They asked a greater thing of Moses aforetime, for they said: Show us Allah plainly. The storm of lightning seized them for their wickedness. Then (even after that) they chose the calf (for worship) after clear proofs (of Allah’s Sovereignty) had come unto them. And We forgave them that! And We bestowed on Moses evident authority. And We caused the Mount to tower above them at (the taking of) their covenant: and We bade them: Enter the gate, prostrate! And We bade them: Transgress not the Sabbath: and We took from them a firm covenant. Then because of their breaking of their covenant, and their disbelieving in the revelations of Allah, and their slaying of the Prophets wrongfully, and their saying: Our hearts are hardened-Nay, but Allah hath set a seal upon them for their disbelief, so that they believe not save a few-And because of their disbelief and of their speaking against Mary a tremendous calumny; And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger-They slew him not nor crucified, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain: But Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise. There is not one of the People of the Scripture but will believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them- Because of the wrongdoing of the Jews we forbade them good things which were (before) made lawful unto them, and because of their much hindering from Allah’s way: And of their taking usury when they were forbidden it, and of their devouring people’s wealth by false pretences. We have prepared for those of them who disbelieve a painful doom.   (4:153-161)

The Disbelievers

The disbelievers are those who do not believe or disbelieve in Allah and reject Allah’s messengers and His revelations such as Noah’s people, Hud’s people Aad, Salih’s people Thamud, Lot’s people, Shuaib’s people, Pharaoh, etc. The Qur’an describes the characteristics of such people, their behaviour, the consequences of their disbelief and rejection of the Prophets in its several verses, some of which are as under:

·        As for the disbelievers, whether thou warn them or thou warn them not, it is all one for them; they believe not. Allah hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom.   (2:6)

·        Lo! those who disbelieve, and die while they are disbelievers; on them is the curse of Allah and of angels and of men combined. They ever dwell therein. The doom will not be lightened for them, neither will they be reprieved.   (2:161-162)

·        Allah is the Protecting Friend of those who believe. He bringeth them out of darkness into light. As for those who disbelieve, their patrons are false deities. They bring them out of light into darkness. Such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein.   (2:257)

·        (On that day) neither the riches nor the progeny of those who disbelieve will aught avail them with Allah. They will be fuel for fire.   (3:10)

·        And let not those who disbelieve imagine that the rein We give them bodeth good unto their souls. We only give them rein that they may grow in sinfulness. And theirs will be a shameful doom.   (3:178)

·        Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah; and those who disbelieve do battle for the cause of idols. So fight the minions of the devil. Lo! the devil’s strategy is ever weak.   (4:76)

·        As for those who disbelieve, lo! if all that is in the earth were theirs, and as much again therewith, to ransom them from the doom on the day of Resurrection, it would not be accepted from them. Theirs will be a painful doom. They will wish to come forth from the Fire, but they will not come forth from it. Theirs will be a lasting doom.   –5:36-37

·        And even so We sent not a warner before thee (Muhammad) into any township but its luxurious ones said: Lo! we found our fathers following a religion, and we are following their footprints. (And the warner) said: What! Even though I bring you better guidance than that ye found your fathers following? They answered: Lo! in what ye bring we are disbelievers. So We requited them, Then see the nature of the consequence for the rejecters!      --43:23-25

·        And they say: There is naught but our life of the world; we die and we live and naught destroys us save the time; when they have no knowledge whatsoever of all that; they do but guess. And when Our clear revelations are recited to them, their only argument is that they say: bring back our forefathers then if you are truthful.   –45:24-25

·        That is because Allah is patron of those who believe, and because the disbelievers have no patron. Lo! Allah will cause those who believe and do good works to enter Gardens under-neath which rivers flow; while those who disbelieve take their comfort in this life and eat even as the cattle eat, and the Fire is their habitation.   –47:11-12

The Polytheists

Polytheists are those who believe in more than one God or believe in other gods besides Allah. They worship besides Allah idols, images, sun, moon, stars, other heavenly bodies, their religious leaders, their ancestors, other human beings, even mountains, rivers, animals and plants. Majority in the world belong to this category of humans who believe in Allah as the creator of all but join in His worship many others. The Quraish, the tribe of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) were idolaters. They assigned partners to Allah and worshipped them. They had placed many idols (according to a tradition, three hundred and sixty) in the Kaabah, the house of God, for worship although they knew that their great grandfathers-Abraham and Ismael- had built the Kaabah for worship of Allah only. They strongly opposed Prophet Muhammad and severely oppressed him and his followers. In the following verses, the Qur’an brings in focus, the characteristic and behaviour of polytheists and idolaters and also that what should be the attitude of the believers about them:

·        Lo! Allah forgiveth not that a partner should be ascribed unto Him. He forgiveth (all) save that to whom He will. Whoso ascribeth partners of Allah, he hath indeed invented a tremendous sin.   –4:48

·        Attribute they as partners to Allah those who created naught, but are themselves created, And cannot give them help, nor can they help themselves? And if ye call them to the Guidance, they follow you not. Whether ye call them or are silent is all one to them. Lo! those on whom ye call beside Allah are slaves like unto you. Call on them now, and let them answer you, if ye are truthful! Have they feet wherewith they walk, or have they hands wherewith they hold, or have they eyes wherewith they see, or have they ears wherewith they hear? Say: Call upon your (so-called) partners (of Allah), and then contrive against me, spare me not!   --7:191-195

·        O ye who believe! The idolaters only are unclean. So let them not come near the Inviolable Place of Worship (Kaabah) after this their year. If ye fear poverty (from the loss of their merchandise) Allah shall preserve you of His bounty if He will. Lo! Allah is Knower, Wise.   –9:28

·        It is not for the Prophet, and those who believe, to pray for the forgiveness of idolaters even though they may be near of kin (to them) after it hath become clear that they are people of hell-fire.   –9:113

·        Say: Is there of your partners (whom ye ascribe unto Allah) one that produceth Creation and then reproduceth it? Say: Allah produceth Creation, then reproduceth it. How, then, are ye misled! Say: Is there of your partners (whom ye ascribe unto Allah) one that leadeth to the Truth? Say: Allah leadeth to the Truth. Is He Who leadeth to the Truth more deserving that He should be followed, or he who findeth not the way unless he (himself) be guided. What aileth ye? How judge ye?   (10:34-35)

·        O mankind! A similitude is coined, so pay ye heed to it: Lo! those on whom ye call beside Allah will never create a fly though they combine together for the purpose. And if the fly took some thing from them, they could not rescue it from it. How weak are (both) the seeker and the sought.   –22:73

·        Recite unto them the story of Abraham: When he said unto his father and his folk: what worship ye? They said: We worship idols and are ever devoted unto them. He said: Do they hear you when ye cry? Or do they benefit or harm you? They said: Nay, but we found our fathers acting on this wise. He said: See now that which ye worship, Ye and your forefathers! Lo! they are (all) an enemy unto me, save the Lord of the Worlds. Who created me, and He doth guide me.   –26:69-78

The Hypocrites

Hypocrite is a person who practices hypocrisy which in plain meaning is pretence of virtue or simulation of virtue or goodness. According to the Qur’an, the hypocrites are those who say that they believe in Allah but actually they believe not. They utter with their mouths a thing which is not in their hearts. They perform acts of worship, give charity in order to be seen of men. Synonyms of hypocrite are deceiver, defrauder, imposter, two-faced, pretender, etc. In the following verses the Qur’an highlights the characteristics of hypocrites and what has been their behaviour with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his followers.  

·        And of mankind are some who say: We believe in Allah and the Last Day, when they believe not. They think to beguile Allah and those who believe, and they beguile none save themselves; but they perceive not. In their hearts is a disease, and Allah increaseth their disease. A painful doom is theirs because they lie. And when it is said unto them: Make not mischief in the earth, they say: We are peacemakers only. Are not they indeed the mischief-makers? But they perceive not. And when it is said unto them: Believe as the people believe, they say: Shall we believe as the foolish believe? Are not they indeed the foolish? But they know not. And when they fall in with those who believe, they say: We believe; but when they go apart to their devils they declare: Lo! we are with you; verily we did but mock. Allah (Himself) doth mock them, leaving them to wander blindly on in their contumacy. These are they who purchase error at the price of guidance, so their commerce doth not prosper, neither are they guided. Their likeness is as the likeness of one who kindleth fire, and when it sheddeth its light around him Allah taketh  away their light and leaveth them in darkness, where they cannot see, - Deaf, dumb and blind, and they return not. Or like a rainstorm from the sky, wherein is darkness, thunder and the flash of lightning. They thrust their fingers in their ears by reason of the thunder-claps, for fear of death. Allah encompasseth the disbelievers. The lightning almost snatcheth away their sight from them. As often as it flasheth forth for them they walk therein, and when it darkeneth against them they stand still. If Allah willed, He could destroy their hearing and their sight. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things.   –2:8-20

·        Lo! the hypocrites seek to beguile Allah, but it is Allah who beguileth them. When they stand up to worship they perform it languidly and to be seen of men, and are mindful of Allah but little; Swaying between this (and that), (belonging) neither to these nor to those. He whom Allah causeth to go astray thou (O Muhammad) will not find a way for him.   –4:142-143

·        Lo! the hypocrites (will be) in the lowest deep of the fire, and thou wilt find no helper for them;   --4:145

·        Ask forgiveness for them (O Muhammad), or ask not forgiveness for them; though thou ask forgiveness for them seventy times, Allah will not forgive them. That is because they disbelieved in Allah and His messenger, and Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk.   –9:80

·        And never (O Muhammad) pray for one of them who dieth, nor stand by his grave. Lo! they disbelieved in Allah and His messenger, and they died while they were evil-doers. Let not their wealth nor their children astonish thee! Allah purposeth only to punish them thereby in the world, and that their souls shall pass away while they are disbelievers.   –9:84-85

·        And among mankind is he who worshippeth Allah upon a narrow marge so that if good befalleth him he is content therewith, but if a trial befalleth him, he falleth away utterly. He loseth both the world and the Hereafter. That is the sheer loss.   –22:11

·        Of mankind is he who saith: We believe in Allah, but, if he be made to suffer for the sake of Allah, he mistaketh the persecution of mankind for Allah’s punishment; and then, if victory cometh from thy Lord, will say: Lo! we were with you (all the while). Is not Allah best aware of what is in the bosoms of (His) creatures? Verily Allah knoweth those who believe and verily He knoweth the hypocrites.    –29:10-11

·        When the hypocrites come unto thee (O Muhammad), they say: We bear witness that thou are indeed Allah’s messenger. And Allah knoweth that thou art indeed His messenger and Allah beareth witness that the Hypocrites are speaking falsely. They make their faith a pretext so that they may turn (men) from they way of Allah. Verily evil is that which they are wont to do. That is because they believed, then disbelieved, therefore, their hearts are sealed so that they understand not. And when thou seest them their figures please thee: and if they speak thou givest ear unto their speech. (They are) as though they were blocks of wood in striped cloaks. They deem every shout to be against them. They are the enemy, so beware of them. Allah confound them! How they are perverted! And when it is said unto them: Come! The messenger of Allah will ask forgiveness for you! They avert their faces and thou seest them turning away, disdainful. Whether thou ask forgiveness for them or ask not forgiveness for them, Allah will not forgive them. Lo! Allah guideth not the evil-living folk. They it is who say: Spend not on behalf of those (who dwell) with Allah’s messenger that they may disperse (and go away from you); when Allah’s are the treasures of the heavens and the earth: but the hypocrites comprehend not. They say: Surely, if we return to Al-Madinah, the mightier will soon drive out the weaker; when might belongeth to Allah and to His messenger and the believers; but the hypocrites know not.   –63:1-8

The Apostates

The Arabic word “Irtidad” which is translated into English as apostasy means turning away from one’s religion or abandonment of one’s religion. A ‘Murtad’ i.e. an apostate is a person who renounces his religion or belief. In Islamic terminology an apostate is a person who abandons Islam and either reverts to his former faith or embraces a new faith or simply remains in a state of no belief. The Qur’an condemns apostates and gives them tidings of a painful doom in the Hereafter excepting those who have been forced to disbelief but whose hearts are still content with Islam. Following are some of the verses of the Qur’an relating to apostates

·        And whoso becometh a renegade and dieth in his disbelief such are they whose works have fallen both in the world and the Hereafter. Such are rightful owners of the Fire: they will abide therein.   –2:217

·        Lo! those who believe, then disbelieve and then (again) believe, then disbelieve, and then increase in disbelief, Allah will never pardon them, nor will He guide them unto a way.   –4:137

·        Whoso disbelieveth in Allah after his belief-save him who is forced thereto and whose heart is still content with Faith-but whoso findeth ease in disbelief: on them is wrath from Allah. Theirs will be an awful doom.   (16:106)

Who is Successful?

            Who is successful of all these communities in the sight of Allah and deserves paradise in the next world? Answer to this question has been given by the Qur’an in Verse 62 of Surah 2 and in Verse 69 of Surah 5 which clearly state that whosoever believes in Allah and in the Last Day and does right deeds, shall have neither any fear nor any grief. Belief in Allah obviously includes belief in Allah’s Prophets and in Allah’s revealed books. Thus the non-believers such as pagons, infidels, idolators, atheists, agnosts, polytheists, disbelievers and seculars, etc. stand excluded from the list of the successful. So far as the Jews and Christians are concerned, they can qualify for success provided they complete their belief by believing in Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and in the Qur’an along with their own Prophets and Holy Books. Thus the only community which qualifies for success on the basis of belief are the Muslims as they believe in Allah, in all of His Prophets and in revealed Books and in the last Day. However, in addition to belief, the people qualifying for success must do good deeds to earn success.

            So the fulfillment of both the conditions i.e. belief and righteous deeds is essential for entitlement to success and God’s Paradise. Those who do not believe or who do not complete their belief but do righteous deeds are rewarded for their such deeds in this world only as Allah does not waste the good deeds of the people who perform them.


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